Is it a crime to want to play music for a living?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by cassanova, Apr 23, 2003.

  1. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    Ive been talking to quite a few people lately. Family, what few friends I have left, even other musicians that I know.

    When I tell them my ultimate goal is to make a living as a musician. They all say its unrealistic, get a day job, stuff like that and act like its a crime or some sort of sin to at least try. Heck its not like Im trying to get a record deal. I just wanna be able to obtain enough work as a musician to make a day job optional.

    I've had a taste of what its like to make decent money playing music and I want more of it. Im realistic, I realize I'll need a day job while I search for the right musicians to help me obtain this goal as well as to provide income to purchase my own p/a systym and rehearsal space. As well as pay the bills.

    To me this goal seems quite atainable, but to most its a huge crime.

    Now ya'll know some of my goals with playing music, what are yours??
  2. i'm hoping to make a career out of music, but i'm fully aware of the fact that it simply might not work.

    i plan on getting as good a day job as possibly, and working in music with my spare time, if the music side goes well, i'll cut down the time spent doing the day job and concentrate a bit more on the music side, if it keeps going well i'll hopefully get to the point where music is my day job.

    but as i said, i know that the chances of this happening aren't all that great and a lot of it's down to luck, but luckily having a full time day job and gigging a few nights a week and the odd bit of session work here and there is also something i think i would enjoy greatly.

    there's my plans, i'll let you all know if they work out :D

  3. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I think it is NOT a crime to try to make a living out of music.

    Music is something that might be in your bones, and should be pursued, if that's your calling.:D Those that think otherwise may not be risk-takers, and perhaps you are. I only mention that because few people ever realize the income they expect when they set forth on such a career.

    IMO, you should consider the following:
    1. What kind of income do you need to meet your lifestyle needs.
    2. Will there be anybody else in your life that depends on that income level.
    3. How realistic are your expectations?
    4. Do you have a solid plan?

    I'm sure there are plenty of other questions to ask. But, in the end, I fully support ANYBODY who says they're going to chase their dreams.:D Go for it!
  4. Mike Money

    Mike Money Banned

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    Because most people just do not get it. Parents, mainly.

    Some people think that all musicians are just pot heads, or will die some terrible death.

    I want to be a musician for my career, but I think having a day job is a good thing in case that doesn't work out.
  5. Nick Gann

    Nick Gann Talkbass' Tubist in Residence

    Mar 24, 2002
    Silver Spring, MD
    My real goal is to become a professional tuba player. I want to get job in a professional orchestra. I hope on getting into a university with a good music program, or a university with an attached conservatory, and get a degree in music preformance with the tuba as my main instrument. If I can't get into a good college with a good scholarship, I am also considering joining the military, and being a musician there, and after 4 years, try to get a job in a civilian orchestra. I still have thinking to do about which I will do...

    So I hope, and plan on, becoming a professional tubist. Music is the best thing I have right now, and I can't imagine doing anything else for the rest of my life.

    And believe me, I have heard plenty of "Do you want frys with that?" jokes about it too :rolleyes: :(

    I just don't let them get to me, I know what I want, and no one can change that in me, no matter how many jokes they tell me.
  6. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    In the area I live, it would probaly be easier to be a professional musician than get a day job. (If you don't have the right last name, you don't have a job where I live, unless you want to flip burgers. I'm not exgerrating, you can have a Bachelor's Degree and years of expierence in a field and you'll still struggle to find employment, that's why I'm moving out as soon as possible because after a stint as an IT Technician I realized it wasn't for me and I really want to study pyschology, but I'm getting off on more of a rant than parenthesis should allow :p ) My whole philosphy is life is short, why waste it doing something you hate. I personally would rather work a job I like, making 10 bucks an hour than working a job I hate making 15. Yeah, I might have to drive a car that's a few years older with the 10 dollar an hour job, but I rather have my piece of mind and happiness. As an IT tech I went to clients that were making probaly 6 digit numbers, and they were some of the most stressed out and unhappy people I've met.
  7. If you REALLY want it, what other people think wont even figure in the equation. So, do you REALLY want it?
  8. I got a good paying job, but I don't like it and after I have a good amount saved and have things I need (a place to live, a car, equipment, ect.)
    I will work a lesser paying job at a place where I enjoy (maybe a record store) and spend a lot of time getting better as a musician and playing gigs and try to live as a musician and hopefully make enough money so I don't have to have a job other than playing gigs. But every one knows it is not easy for every musician that wants to to work solely as a musician. So I will concentrate on making and saving money right now and getting a little better a musicman(wanted to say something different than musican...d'oh) then when I have money saved work l part time and concentrate mostly on music and see what I can get in the line of gigs

    oh and: go for it dude
  9. StrudelBass


    Jul 6, 2002
    Same thing happened to me when I told my mom I'm interested in music school... the idea got shot down fast.
  10. Killdar


    Dec 16, 2002
    Portland Maine
    ditto, word for word.
  11. DanGouge


    May 25, 2000
    It will be a challenge, that much is true. You have to be prepared not making a lot of money and/or not having it come in consistently. As RAM has said, you have to consider your lifestyle wants/needs as well as whether anyone else is relying on you for your income.
  12. stephanie


    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    Well, Cass, I know how you feel. And you know how I feel about this situation.

    I always think music is all I have. I mean, I have many interests in my life, but not career-oriented. I cannot see me going from one dead-end job to another for my whole life. I'm labeled as the "failure" of the family (25 and 'going nowhere' as some think), yet there is no one at all in my immediate family who has a career of any sort so I don't know why I'm the black sheep LOL. I either ignore what they say about my life or I get an "I'll show them" attitude. I know my goals, I know what I want in life, and I know I have to work at it. I don't want to end up like my parents (who I love dearly, but still...) who have struggled their whole lives and are full of regrets.

    I think a key part of happiness is to do what you love. It's your life and you have to do what you feel is right. No one else can live your life for you.
  13. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    Get a job, you hippie.

  14. I feel the same....I am not shooting for that Rock star life,though it'd be quite nice;) long as I can make a decent living with my music,whether it's playing in a bar/small stage or playing in a huge stadium...just as long as I can be independent and the most important part....have fun!

  15. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    I keep some newspaper articles by my desk, just for inspiration when I think I'm having a bad day. One is about the pay raises I've gotten over the years as a bassist in the military. The other is about how, despite taking a 20% pay cut, the San Antonio Symphony is not getting paid right now. :D And they look down there noses at band guys.... The best Tuba gigs in the world right now, unless you're Pat Sheridan (yeah, I know who he is, I've played with him, and I'm not a tuba player!) are in the military band system. (Also the only euphonium gigs! :D)
  16. You did it wrong. It's "Get a job, you damn dirty hippie leech on society. And cut that damned greasy hair."
  17. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Of all the bandmates through the years, whose whereabouts/circumstances are still known to me, there's maybe *one* guy who's potentially getting what he really wants out of a career in music. Last I heard, this guy was drumming with several bands/artists in Austin. He's an extemely mellow guy who never expressed lofty aspirations (a classically trained pianist who attended North TX State U - the "Julliard of the South" - he just prefers playing drums).

    In contrast, another member of the band I played in with this guy, the singer/songwriter, has apparently about exhausted his inheritance/trust fund trying to market his music.

    I have an pseudo-uncle (my wife's aunt's boyfriend of many years). Who's in his 60's and has been a jazz drummer his whole adult life. He's a fantastic, intellegent guy who's had a pretty fufilling career. Only problem is that now he's in his mid-60's, he doesn't have a retirement nest egg, and health problems are threatening his ability to continue performing.

    I'm really glad that there are guys out there who are willing to sacrifice financial security for the love of music. I never felt I was good enough, or passionate enough, to even consider a career in music, and I respect those that do pursue that path.
  18. ConU


    Mar 5, 2003
    La Belle Province
  19. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    Ok, the hair is actually cut and was never greasy, thats just scummy :D
  20. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB

    Jan 28, 2001
    New York
    How about a day job at a music store, either a sales/tech guy or a Bass teacher?

    Then at night you could kick butt on stage:bassist: